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CD3: Choose wisely, grasshopper.

Posted Aug 28 2012 10:48pm

Last night, after a crazy busy day, Larry and I needed Chinese. We needed it hard. As much as I love Beverly Jade, I have to remember: I do not like their crab rangoon.

And yet, like the macaroni and cheese at Boston Market, the mashed potato bowls from Wawa or the three crunchy taco meal from Taco Bell, I order it… and am never satisfied. It always looks more appealing and delicious and yummy on the menu than it actually is.

Ordering Chinese is a rarity in our house. Back when we lived in Maryland, we ate it fairly frequently, especially since my husband was making a barely livable graduate stipend at the time. There were two Chinese takeout places less than a mile from where we lived, one even within walking distance. Combo dinners were cheap, fast and easy.

When we moved up to Massachusetts, we noticed right away that the Chinese food here is… different. Apparently General Tso goes by the name of General Gau up here. And he tastes totally different. Instead of a variety of sauces: orange, sesame, beef & broccoli – it’s all just the same brown sauce, save for the addition of an orange zest, a scattering of sesame seeds, or some extra broccoli florets.

In short, Chinese food is kinda gross in Massachusetts.

So when our friends introduced us to Beverly Jade and it didn’t taste like ass, it was a nice change. Still, with two pizza places literally around the corner and one block away from where we live (with another 2 on speed dial), pizza has taken the spot as our cheap, fast and easy “I don’t feel like cooking” dinner solution. So to get Chinese last night – and to go out, no less – was a nice change of pace.

. . .

I am looking for signs and symbols and omens and blessings in everything right now. When the pair of fortune cookies arrived with the check, it was as though the waitress had handed me a tray of golden goblets and I had to pick the Holy Grail.

“Choose wisely, grasshopper,” I thought.

The fortune was your run-of-the-mill vague statement: “Your love of life will be happy and harmonious.” Larry’s was equally as vague: “You will travel far and wide, both pleasure and business.”

It was when I flipped over my fortune that I was more intrigued. My random Chinese vocabulary lesson above my Lucky Numbers was the word “Son.”

“Well, I guess we know who wins the gender debate!” I laughed.

Larry raised an eyebrow at me. “I’m not so sure.” He handed me his fortune. His paper prognostication read on the back: “Daughter.”

You can’t make this up.

Confucius says: Your odds are 50/50, kid.

It’s particularly ironic too, since of course, I want a daughter and Larry wants a son. We both lay claim to some seriously strong gender biases, what with he being a Freemason and me being a self-proclaimed Red Tent Woman. Of course we would each get the opposite gender.

“I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait and see,” Larry mused.

“Unless of course, we each get what we want and end up with boy-girl fraternal twins.”

Larry’s smile dropped into dead seriousness.

You shut your mouth .”

“Just you wait Larry Zoll, just you wait and see,” I chuckled, taking one last bite of lo mein.

Edited to add: It wasn’t until I was reading some tweet replies to this post that I remembered something from my high school years. Growing up in southern New Jersey, going to see a psychic on the Boardwalk is practically a rite of passage, besides heading to Atlantic City for your 21st birthday.

At two different psychics a year apart, I had my palm read. Both predicted that a) I would become some kind of teacher; b) I would travel to California; c) I would become a mother to twin boys.

Just let that roll around in your head for a few minutes.

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